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Topic: Job Seekers Volunteering at for profit companies - violation of FLSA?

Messages (1) Visitors (80)

Member since 06/22/2005
Job Seekers Volunteering at for profit companies - violation of FLSA?
04/21/2010 / 10:27 pm    #1

I am a member of job club in the greater Kansas City area and we are looking at ways for our members to keep their skills fresh and relevant while actively looking for work. One idea is to have them volunteer at companies they are targeting within their current or ideal business function.

The thought is that by donating a few hours a week to work on real-world issues that fill a business need, but that businesses may not be able to pay for, is a great way to make network connections, to highlight skills, and to show current activity to potential employers to fill in the gap from their previous employer. We have already pursued and had some success with job club members volunteering at a non-profit, which is not impacted by FLSA requirements.

I've researched the FLSA site at the Department of Labor and even called them to determine any risks or challenges with this approach. I don't believe that a volunteer offering by a jobseeker creates an employment relationship and therefore doesn't qualify under FLSA, however state laws may prevail. I researched the Kansas and Missouri DOL sites for any state laws that would complicate this idea and didn't find anything.

Before proceeding with a concerted effort to organize a volunteer outreach effort to for-profit businesses, I welcome your insight or opinions about what I may not have considered or any other suggestions you may have.

Thank you,
Peter Dillon
Job Seeker and HR Professional with a variety of experiences seeking an opportunity in Executive and/or Equity Compensation

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